updated 09:05 pm EDT, Fri April 15, 2011
High resale price creates capitalist opportunities
The New York Times reports that ongoing iPad 2 shortages in retail stores in the city are being caused in part by Chinese resellers who camp out waiting for fresh shipments of iPads that they can purchase and resell in China, despite the presence of some Apple retailers in the country and the irony of the units being built there. One man who was prepared to camp out all day and night in anticipation of a shipment the next morning was interviewed by reporter Nick Bilton and claimed he could make up to $400 per day buying and then reselling iPad 2s, which is more than many Chinese immigrants make in a week.
The Chinese immigrants buy the iPads in the US and ship them back to China for resale. Due to the small number of legitimate Apple retailers in the country and the high demand for the iPad 2, the device is in short supply there -- creating a gray market for resellers who can sell it at much higher prices than normal retail for the country (which is about $442US for the 16GB Wi-Fi, model, up to $687 for the 64GB model; Wi-Fi + 3G models are not yet officially available in China).
Groups of Chinese immigrants camp out as much as 24 hours in advance of a new shipment, which are now coming in daily at Apple's two largest New York City stores, SoHo and the Fifth Avenue store. Apple has limited the number of iPads that an individual can buy per day to two in order to cut down on the inconvenience to other customers, but in the near future demand will continue to outstrip supply until the popular tablets are in wider supply in China. [via The New York Times]